The Periodic Musings of Matt Davis

January 3, 2010

Are we saving the planet or worshipping it?

Filed under: Environmentalism — Tags: , , — kcillini77 @ 11:22 pm

“Our Great Mother does not take sides; She protects only the balance of life.” – Quote from Avatar.

My wife and I recently went to see Avatar in 3D.  It was the first movie we’d been to in about 7 or 8 months, and it cost us $30.  But we got free babysitting, so we went.  The visuals were amazing and I’m glad I had the experience.  But I had a hard time ignoring the environmental propaganda rampant in the film.  The premise of the movie is that the Earth has been ravaged by humans, and in the pursuit of more precious resources the U.S. Marines are apparently traveling to another planet to take their natural resources by force.  “We have killed our Mother,” and our species is ready to kill another planet.  But fortunately we are foiled by a consortium of the planet’s natives (who love and worship their Mother) and some likeminded earthlings.

Listen, I am all for the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). We are stewards of the planet God’s given us, and it makes no sense to waste our resources.  I support curbside recycling programs, and am a strong supporter of the glass recycling program started by some of the principals at Boulevard (Ripple Glass).  I’m not convinced that we are on the brink of losing countries to floodwaters, but I think moving away from fossil fuels as much as possible is a great thing.  So I am firmly in the camp of trying to avoid needless waste and harm in our environment.

But it seems to me that those who seem to have the biggest voice in the green movement aren’t coming at it from the mindset of being a steward of God-given resources.  Listening to some of the extreme voices, the view of our relationship with the earth more closely resembles a parasitic than a symbiotic one.  If all was as it should be we wouldn’t even be here – we are an accident of evolution and are in many respects simply a drain on the Earth.  Hence, we are Her subjects and should defer to Her in all instances.  That, my friends, is worship.  It is placing the Earth in a position of God, and it is idolatry.  It is in clear contrast with the God of the Bible who claims to have made us in His image.  The self-loathing put forward by the extreme elements of environmentalism is not healthy, and we need to recognize that it is being fed to us.  It was a little over the top in Avatar, but I see it more subtlely elsewhere.

I was watching an episode of Handy Manny on the Disney channel with my son the other day.  Manny was asked to build a bike path around a lake, and when he surveyed the land he was to build it on he saw a turtle digging a hole to lay its eggs.  Manny was concerned that when the eggs hatched the baby turtles wouldn’t be able to make it to the lake if the bike path was in the way.  Moving the path the other direction was out of the question, of course, because he would have to cut down a couple of trees, which would also be wrong.  So, they decided to build a bridge (over land) so that the turtles could reach the lake safely (and then promptly be eaten by predators, but that wasn’t addressed).  It’s a cute little story and no one wants to intentionally kill turtles (unless they’re making a tasty soup).  But in practicality a bridge would be a huge cost on the taxpayers for the sake of saving a few turtles.  Kids don’t know that, but when they have these nice little stories embedded in their brains over time, it’s not farfetched to see them strapping themselves to a tree at some point in the future.

I’m not banning Handy Manny or the Disney Channel.  I won’t refuse to see any more James Cameron movies.  I just think that as we consume media, we need to think about the implications.  The Earth needs our attention, but it doesn’t need our worship.

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